Offers participation in gas pipeline
GAIL help offered in putting a pipeline to Nigeria and onwardDiscussions on to expanding hydrocarbon cooperation
NEW DELHI: An Indian delegation led by Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora on Sunday met Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem and offered to buy Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) from Algeria on long-term contract basis. He also offered participation of the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) in putting in place a trans-Sahara gas pipeline linking Algeria with Nigeria and onwards to the European market.
During the hour-long meeting with Mr. Belkhadem, the Minister conveyed India's strong desire to strengthen the friendly relations between India and Algeria particularly in the oil and gas sector. India was keen on having an arrangement to purchase LPG from Algeria on term contract basis besides pursuing opportunities in other areas of hydrocarbon sector for mutual benefit. Algeria has large exportable surplus of LPG while India is a large importer.
Mr. Belkhadem emphasised the need for forging strategic relations in the hydrocarbon domain in the backdrop of long-standing friendship between the two countries. Minister for Energy and Mines Chakib Khelil was also present during the meeting.
Earlier, during the delegation-level talks, Mr. Deora recounted the close ties between the two countries and expressed the hope that the present discussions would lead to expanding cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector. Mr. Khelil gave a comprehensive insight into the structure of the hydrocarbon, electricity and mining sectors in Algeria.
He informed that Algeria aims at exporting 85 billion cubic metres of gas by the year 2010, up from about 62 billion cubic metres, with 50 per cent being supplied as LNG. He highlighted the plan to expand pipeline capacity to supply gas to Europe.
GAIL expressed its interest to participate in the proposed Trans-Sahara gas pipeline project linking Nigeria to Algeria and onwards to the European market through existing pipeline network. The company also offered pursuing equity in LNG infrastructure and in CNG projects in Algeria for which it was prepared to work closely with the local agencies.
In the upstream sector, Mr. Deora conveyed that Indian oil PSUs were open for joint bidding with the national oil companies of Algeria in their upcoming seventh round of bidding during 2007.